By Kim Stagliano
The other day a friend whose teen son has autism told me he still is interested in the Teletubbies, despite her best efforts to move him toward more age approrpriate programming. My oldest child is 14 and still loves Sesame Street, which is celebrating its 40th year on PBS this week as the new season begins. Her first word was "Ober" (Grover) at ten months of age. I watched the first Sesame Street episode in 1969 in my first grade classroom. Now I've had a house full of Sesame Street toys, DVDs, games, figurines for over 14 years.
My friend said, "I swear that's when he regressed and he just stopped developing at the Teletubbies stage." Something about her comment struck me. Do our children's interests remain at the point of their regression? Are those programs like old memories of when they felt well? Or simply rote comfort?
The Hartford Examiner ran a post about Sesame Street and autism. I ran into Rosco Orman (Gordon) and Dr. Loretta Long (Susan) at The Book Expo American in 2007. After I got over my star struck moment, I asked them if they'd consider addressing autism on the show. Read Sesame Street Still Makes a Difference. Especially to Those with Autism.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.